Parking at new stores

PARKING requirements for new supermarkets in Angus have been relaxed slightly to encourage retailers to locate to the county.

Councillors were recommended last week to reinforce existing requirements. Planners felt the decision to allow Sainsbury’s to go ahead, despite reservations that its car park was too small, could lead to the authority’s regulations being challenged.

But an amendment put forward by Councillor David May was accepted by the infrastructure services committee.

Infrastructure services director Eric Lowson said: “Following the decision by development standards to approve the supermarket, it is now unclear to developers what the requirements will be in the future in Angus.

“The committee is asked to endorse the continued use of the current Roads Standards, to enable officers to advise developers of the council’s requirements. There is a risk that the council’s application of parking standards will be challenged by future applicants who consider the recent high profile decision has set a precedent.”

He said that parking standards have to be maintained to counter the likelihood of reduced public transport and more reliance on cars.

Currently the council requires between seven and 10 spaces per 1,076 sq ft of floorspace, in line with other Scottish local authorities.

Mr May’s amendment suggested a slight reduction to make Angus burghs more attractive to companies seeking to locate here. He said: “I proposed an amendment to the report to show more flexibility and try to encourage retailers to come into our towns.

“For new supermarkets in town centres it’s now six spaces per hundred square metres of floorspace and the required minimum is now seven spaces if it’s a development outwith a town centre.”

Mr Lowson had pointed out that pressures on public funding would not lead to improved public transport and that it is essential to consider both the long-term impact and short-term benefits when dealing with development proposals, adding: “Failure to require developers to provide sufficient parking will lead to longer term problems.”